Monday, November 29, 2010

Day 6- Hilo Hawaii The BIG ISLAND

We woke up early today to make sure we were one of the first people off the ship and got the most of our day in Hilo. First we took the bus downtown since we didn’t have any excursions until early afternoon. We did a little shopping, although many of the shops weren’t open yet. It was actually HOT and humid out and felt like summer even though it was the end of November.
I was fascinated by the greenery and just loved the giant Banyon trees! We found Hilo Guitar and Ukulele that our Ukulele teacher recommended and ended up buying an awesome Ukulele to take home. After that is was time for the last bus to come at 10:35 to take us back to the ship for our excursions… we waited and waited and no bus came. Panic was setting in. We could see the Princess cruise passengers (our blue cruise bags were a dead give away to find each other while at port) began to bunch up at the bus stop. Luckily we ran into another group that was going on the Kayaking excursion and need to get back to the ship ASAP too. They took us to the shuttle pick up area and we all made it on the last shuttle and back to the ship just in time to catch up with our tour! Talk about stress!!

We relaxed a little bit when we met up with our group for the excursion since we had booked the excursion through the ship we knew we would get back in plenty of time to board the ship. We headed right back downtown where we had just come from and actually parked across the street from the shopping area! (ironic how things work out sometimes).

We got a short lesson on how to row, steer etc and jumped into our Kayaks. This was both our first time Kayaking and I can’t think of a better place to try it out! It was absolutely gorgeous! We headed out into the bay several hundred yards. It was pretty exhilarating and scary once we started hitting some of the waves… I quickly put on my life vest which had been optional moments earlier. Something about being out in that deep water in a little plastic ‘boat’ didn’t sit well with me! We were in the middle of the bay when one of couples got dumped out of their Kayak! The guide had to go back and help them out. He laughed and was a little surprised because he said that people rarely dump over… (we later found out the guy did it on purpose… his poor wife!) Then we were on our way to a little cove area which was so unique and beautiful. Our camera lens had water drops on it so most of the pictures didn’t come out, but I will put them in here anyway-

The next area was pretty tough to get through and our guides had to pull each Kayak through the narrow against the current. Fun ride for us : )

When we got to the waterfall area Kenny paddled us right into a waterfall. Since I was in front I got showered with icy cold water and started to freak out thinking the Kayak would sink… When I turned around Kenny and all the other Kayakers in the group were wildly laughing… glad I could give them a laugh… We even paddled under the other falls (again none of the pictures really came out because of the lens was covered in water droplets)

After everyone was done playing in the waterfalls it was time to paddle back to shore. Another exhilarating moment hit when we paddled against the 5 foot waves…. I was terrified we would get tossed upside down, but we made it out just fine. (the same couple that capsized earlier repeated that 4 more times…). We made it back to land and realized how tired our arms were! Poor Kenny was our motor AND navigator… I felt like I was doing a good job, but didn’t paddle as much as I could have since I was taking lots of pictures!

We had a little time to swim before we headed back to the ship in a great area where a fresh water stream fed into the ocean. Our guide told us the fresh water was about 60 degrees and the ocean water was about 80… no matter how you slice it was cold in that spot! Isn’t it beautiful how you can see the different water colors?

The sand felt like quicksand under our feet (or at least how I think quicksand would feel)!

Here are some pictures of the tugboats as we left the island -

Today’s Forecast: Scattered showers High 80 low 66

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